Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Oh, Mama: Pistol Packin’ Mama

The Andrews Sisters w/ Bing Crosby: Pistol Packin‘ Mama


I don’t like crooners. That whole style of music just leaves me cold. So I feel very strange posting Bing Crosby. But man, does this swing!

You might say that Crosby and The Andrews Sisters formed a supergroup during the swing era. They cut enough sides together to see release in these days as a full-length CD. They released Pistol Packin’ Mama in September of 1943. The original version had been a hit on the country charts for Al Dexter earlier that year.

Since then, the song has been covered in almost as many ways as there have been musical styles. Frank Sinatra did it. Gene Vincent recorded an ill-advised rockabilly version. There is an instrumental jazz version by Albert Ammons. But almost nothing compares with this version. So the last thing I would ever have expected was a killer version by John Prine. Mac Wiseman is Prine’s partner in this, and also deserves credit.

John Prine and Mac Wiseman: Pistol Packin‘ Mama


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